This little oak washstand was a recent Craigslist find.
Washstands like this are my favorite pieces to work on–they are a great size that can fit anywhere, and are usually sturdy and make for a very quick makeover.
I almost always try to keep the tops of these oak dressers, and while this one had a little bit of chipped veneer, it was still worth keeping. To get rid of the honey color though I sanded down the top and gave it a darker coat of Minwax stain in Jacobean.
When you’re trying to sand down oak to the raw wood, it can be really hard to get the stain out that has settled way down into those deep wood grains.
This was as “raw” as I was able to get this top. If you’re working with oak and you find it holding onto the stain down deep in the grain, don’t worry–it will still take the new stain just fine.
Quick note: if you’d like to try you hand it at refinishing a table top like this one, I wrote a two-post tutorial on the “how to”. Check out How to Refinish a Table Top – Part 1 if you’d like to give it a go!
Because oak is a very tough wood and this top was already pretty weathered, I decided to just add a few coats of Fusion Wax Finish to the top rather than the Fusion Tough Coat. The Wax Finish provides a more subtle sheen than the Tough Coat, and is an all-natural product that smells great and is super easy–just wipe on then buff with a rag.
Two coats did the trick (by the way I didn’t sand this piece at all, just wiped it down well before painting), and then I added a hand-painted design using Fusion Casement. After I finished the hand-painting, I decided it needed a little more depth, so I wiped on Fusion’s Antique Glaze, and it worked perfectly!
I apologize, I took some pictures of the glazing process on my phone but apparently deleted them on accident 🙁 The Antique Glaze though works great on any old wood that has a deep grain–like this oak–because it will settle down in to that grain and bring the texture of the wood out. It’s just awesome.
A little light distressing on the edges, and it was finished!
It’s such a happy little washstand now 🙂
You can see in these close-up photos how the antique glaze settled into the wood grain.
You can also see that my hand-painting is not perfect–but that’s ok! It doesn’t have to be perfect to work.
The darker stained top is now not so dated.
And I have to take a minute to highlight this painting. I found it a few month’s ago at the Canton Flea Market for $20!
The lady who sold it to me said someone in her family (I forget the exact story) either bought it in Germany or lived in Germany and brought it here with them to America. It is a real oil painting and is signed F. Haupt. With a little research, I learned that he was a real German painter who specialized in landscapes.
I wasn’t able to find out anything about this scene in particular, but I think there’s a good chance it’s real! It needs a good cleaning, and you can see that the frame is damaged as well, but I think it was well worth the $20. One of these days when I make it onto Antiques Roadshow I will take it with me and hope they tell me it’s worth thousands of dollars 🙂
Bonus Points–It looks perfect with the washstand too.
I took this piece up to my ACM booth space yesterday, and so it is available for purchase for $185.
One more thing before I go, I need to announce the winner for the River House Designs Etsy Shop Giveaway–Lori W! Congratulations Lori!
Thank you to everyone who entered and who took the time to visit Jen’s great Etsy shop. And remember, her promo code for the 15% discount–AUGUST15–is actually valid through the end of the month, so shop now!